After raising the stakes in luxury travel with the opening of Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa in November 2016, Dart Real Estate has been awarded the Development of the Year Award by The Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit.
One of the most coveted awards by the Caribbean hotel and tourism investment community, it recognises the most outstanding hospitality development built, redeveloped or repositioned within the past year. Leaders from the hotel and lodging industry, investment community and key advisors reviewed all nominated properties and carefully selected the best project, taking into consideration various criteria such as pioneering, project magnitude, economic impact, sustainability initiatives, and innovative design.
Dart Real Estate’s approach to design and place-making guided the talented team of architects and interior designers that engineered the developer’s first foray into resort-residential living. Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and the adjacent Residences at Seafire boast 266 hotel rooms and suites, including three beachside bungalows and 62 high design residences. The project was developed to allow Seafire guests and residents to have expansive, unrestrained access to Seven Mile Beach and its celebrated crystal blue waters, while an abundance of native plants and trees provide them with a sense of place and harness the natural environment of the destination. Sustainability, a key element in all of Dart Real Estate’s developments, is woven through the Seafire site, with open-air architecture, meandering gardens, rainwater-sourced irrigation, geothermal air conditioning system, coastal bike trails, solar energy, turtle-friendly outdoor lighting, eco-friendly materials and modern design.
More than a recognition for Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, the CHRIS Development of the Year Award celebrates Dart Real Estate’s commitment to creating spaces that promote people’s health, happiness and well-being in the Cayman Islands.
“Thoughtfulness, creativity and innovation are inherent to our philosophy of development excellence,” said Jackie Doak, President of Dart Real Estate. “In partnership with Dart Development, we collaborate with some of the world’s most forward-thinking architects, landscape architects and interior designers. Every decision was driven by how it would enhance the guest experience.”
Seafire is the result of a partnership between SB Architects, the visionaries behind some of the finest resort communities in the world, and esteemed local architect John Doak. The property’s landscape architecture was developed by EDSA working with Dart Real Estate’s 20 year-old nursery. The interiors reflect the cinematic vision of Powerstrip Studio and the restaurant was created by MARKZEFF Design.
Among the criteria for the CHRIS Development of the Year Award is economic impact. Kimpton Seafire represented an investment of US $309 Million during development and construction, employing more than 800 during peak activity. The hotel employs more than 360 people with 35% of the staff being Caymanian or Permanent Residency holders.
Representing Dart at the awards ceremony was Ken Hydes, Dart Development Vice President of Special Projects and Partnerships and longtime President of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.
“We are humbled and honoured to be recognised in the region for Dart’s first hotel, Cayman’s first new hotel in 10 years and the first Caribbean resort for our partners at Kimpton,” he said. “In a short time, the Seafire employees have infused the development with Caymanian flavour and Kimpton’s unique sense of style and fun, creating extraordinary guest experiences and earning the Island some new loyalists.”